verb (used with object), ar·bi·trat·ed, ar·bi·trat·ing.

to decide as arbitrator or arbiter; determine.
to submit to arbitration; settle by arbitration: to arbitrate a dispute.

verb (used without object), ar·bi·trat·ed, ar·bi·trat·ing.

to act as arbitrator or arbiter; decide between opposing or contending parties or sides.
to submit a matter to arbitration.

Origin of arbitrate

1580–90; < Latin arbitrātus decided, judged (past participle of arbitrārī), equivalent to arbit(e)r arbiter + -ātus -ate1
Related formsar·bi·tra·tive, adjectivere·ar·bi·trate, verb, re·ar·bi·trat·ed, re·ar·bi·trat·ing.un·ar·bi·trat·ed, adjectiveun·ar·bi·tra·tive, adjectivewell-ar·bi·trat·ed, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for arbitrate

Contemporary Examples of arbitrate

  • Back in 2010, we assumed we had a way to “arbitrate” the budget problem with the Simpson-Bowles Commission.

    The Daily Beast logo
    CEO Solutions to the Shutdown

    William L. McComb

    October 14, 2013

Historical Examples of arbitrate

  • I conclude you do not wish this amiable company to arbitrate between us.

    Roland Cashel

    Charles James Lever

  • I have noticed that it is generally the one who is in the wrong who refuses to arbitrate.

    Up the Forked River

    Edward Sylvester Ellis

  • "Let the peace of God rule (or arbitrate) in your hearts" (Col. 3: 15).

    The Calvary Road

    Roy Hession

  • Elizabeth at once offered to arbitrate between Mary and her subjects.

  • He would carry the game into the enemy's camp and then, if necessary, arbitrate.

    The Fifth Ace

    Douglas Grant

British Dictionary definitions for arbitrate



to settle or decide (a dispute); achieve a settlement between parties
to submit to or settle by arbitration
Derived Formsarbitrable, adjectivearbitrator, noun

Word Origin for arbitrate

C16: from Latin arbitrāri to give judgment; see arbiter
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for arbitrate

1580s (arbitrable is recorded from 1530s), "to give an authoritative decision," from Latin arbitratus, past participle of arbitrari "be of an opinion, give a decision," from arbiter (see arbiter). Meaning "to act as an arbitrator" is from 1610s. Related: Arbitrated; arbitrating. The earlier verb form was arbitren (early 15c.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper